S.T. Game 28. Surprise rotation candidate does well as Yanks play to a tie.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Jordan Montgomery wasn’t considered a favorite for a rotation spot at the beginning of spring training, but has worked his way into the discussion. He did ok in a start Thursday against the Rays, as the Yanks and Rays played to a 5-5 tie in spring training action.

The tie puts the Yanks’ spring training record at 20-7-1.

Montgomery, 24, is a big (6’6″) lefty who went 14-5, 2.13 between AA and AAA last year. He has just six games of AAA experience.

He gave up 2 runs in 4 1/3 IP on just three hits and struck out 8. One run was because Aaron Judge misplayed a single into a triple and the runner scored on a SF, another scored when Graham, who followed Montgomery, allowed Montgomery’s runner to score—with two out.

The Yanks came back from 5-0 down. In the sixth, they scored two runs on doubles by Ellsbury (who had 2 hits), Hicks and Judge (who also had 2 hits).

Ronald Torreyes (who had two hits) got a solo HR in the seventh. A couple of walks, a wild pitch and a SF by Clint Frazier later that inning cut the Rays’ lead to 5-4.

The Yanks had the tying run thrown out at the plate in the eighth, but tied the game in the ninth when Tyler Wade reached on a two-base error, stole third and scored when the catcher made a throwing error on the steal attempt.

Chris Carter, signed as insurance in case Greg Bird wasn’t ready, has struggled mightily this spring. He did go 1 for 4 Thursday but is hitting just .122 this spring with 22 strikeouts in 41 at bats. Bird, meanwhile, had another double yesterday, his seventh, to go with his six homers, and he has a .432 spring training average.

Montgomery 4 1/3 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 0 walks, 8 K.
Graham 2/3 IP, 3 R, 3 H, 1 walk, 1 K.
Shreve 1 Ip, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 1 K.
Feyereisen 1 Ip, 0 r, 0 H, 0 walks, 1 K.
Brewer 1 Ip, 0 R, 0 H, 1 walk, 0 K.
Gurka 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 2 walks, 1 K.

 

S.T. Game 27. Bird is the word. 2 HR. Tanaka dominant again. Ex-Yanks’ mgr. Green dies at 82.

Yankee Stadium Frieze
Greg Bird found out before the game that not unsurprisingly, he won the 1B job for the Yankees. He celebrated by hitting 2 HR and driving in 5 runs in the Yanks’ 7-3 win over the Phillies today. The win made the Yanks 20-7 for the spring.

Masahiro Tanaka pitched 5 1/3 scoreless innings, continuing his dominant spring. In 19 2/3 spring training innings, he hasn’t given up a run.

Bird hit a 2-run HR in the 4th, and added a 3-run shot in the 6th. Chase Headley hit a solo HR in the 6th.

Ruben Tejada doubled a run in during the 8th inning to make it 7-0 before the Phils scored 3 late runs.

Tanaka (w) 5 1/3 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 1 walk, 3 K.
Holder 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 0 K.
Frieri 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 3 K. Nice comeback from rough Yanks’ debut the other day.
Marsh 1 Ip, 2 R, 1 H, 1 walk, 0 K.
Mantiply 1 Ip, 1 R, 2 H, 0 walks, 1 K.

Dallas Green, who managed the Yanks for most of 1989, going 56-65, died today at the age of 82. He is most famous for managing the 1980 Phillies to the first world championship in that team’s history. He also managed the Mets. He was a major league pitcher from 1960-1967, with the Phils and Mets teams he pitched for.

I wasn’t a fan of Green, esp. in 1989 when he managed the Yanks. God bless him and his family but one thing happened to Green that I wouldn’t wish on anyone.

His granddaugher was killed several years ago by that nutcase who shot Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. Giffords survived, Green’s granddaughter did not.

 

S.T. Game 26. Yanks lose 4-2; Find out Didi out for a month.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yankees found out today that Didi Gregorius will miss at least the first month of April. We’ll see if it is longer than that.

In tonight’s game, they lost 4-2 to Boston, getting just four hits and striking out 14x.

Matt Holliday’s 2-run HR accounted for the only runs.

Starlin Castro had 2 of the 4 hits.

Chris Carter has been awful this spring. He struck  out twice today and is at .118. It could be he is there only until Tyler Austin is ready and is released, even though he is making $3.5 MM. He has to start showing something soon.

Bryan Mitchell wasn’t bad, despite the loss. I think he should get one of those two rotation spots.

Mitchell 4 1/3 IP, 2 R, 7 H, 0 walks, 7 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Chapman 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 2 K.
Layne 2/3 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 1 walk and 1 K.
Cessa (L) 2 Ip, 1 r, 2 H, 2 walks, 0 K. I think he is SWB bound
Niese 1 Ip, 1 R, 2 H, 0 walks, and 2 K.

S.T. Game 25. Yanks win, but problems loom.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yankees’ 9-3 win today that raised their spring record to 19-6 was overshadowed by other concerns.

I don’t like the World Baseball Classic because of its timing. Players should be getting ready and not competing heavily in games in March. The WBC advances the timetable, which is why I am concerned about injuries in March to players going all out when they should be pacing themselves.

The Yanks found out today that Didi Gregorius, who was doing well in the WBC, will probably miss the start of the regular season because of a sore throwing shoulder.

As good as phenom Gleyber Torres has been this spring training, he has never played above High A ball (Tampa) and the Yanks won’t consider jumping him three levels to replace Didi. Instead, it looks as if it would be Tyler Wade at SS until Didi is ready. Wade is versatile, has more experience and has played at a higher level than Torres. It seems either he or Ronald Torreyes will man SS until Didi gets back.Ruben Tejada could be in the mix as well.

A blow and why I don’t like the WBC. As for Wade, all the Yanks want from him is to make the plays, and do the little things. He doesn’t have the power Didi would have. Just make all the plays on D, and do the little things offensively—steal a base, lay down a bunt, move the runner over. Nothing spectacular.

Michael Pineda exasperated us today. One outing after a 15 up, 15 down, 8 strikeout performance, he was knocked out in the second inning. This is why he drives us nuts. So much potential, so little consistency. Just like A.J Burnett.

The Yanks got four in the second. Refsnyder doubled in one, Torreyes singled in one and Gardner singled in two.

Given a 4-0 lead, Pineda drove us nuts again, giving up three runs and not making it out of the second inning. How long do we have to wait for him to realize his potential consistently? Thank goodness it is spring training. Starting pitchers just can’t give back four run leads in the regular season.

The Yanks got two in the fifth on a two-run HR by Matt Holliday.

Gleyber Torres doubled in two in the eighth (and I, like many others, wish this kid would be the one replacing Didi until Didi is ready, but at 20, and no experience above High A, I could see not putting him the major league roster just yet, but yes, we all are impatient for him to arrive).

Dustin Fowler got a SF for the final run.

So a win, but concerns about Didi’s injury and Pineda’s inconsistency.

Two RBI for Gardner, two hits for Bird. Holliday with the 2-run HR. Billy McKinney went 2 for 2.

To me, besides Mitchell, Green has done very well. I would put Mitchell and Green in the rotation, send Severino and Cessa back to AAA and Warren to the bullpen. We’ll see what Girardi does.

Pineda (w) 1 2/3 IP, 3 R, 1 H, 2 walks, 1 K.
Graham (H) 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 3H, 1 walk, 0 K.
Green (H) 3 1/3 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 1 walk, 2 K.
Heller (H) 2/3, 0 R, 1 H, 1 walk, 0 K.
Holder 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 0 K.

 

S.T. Game 24. Headley leads Yanks to 6-4 win.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Chase Headley had 2 hits, inc. a 2-run double, and stole home on a double steal as the Yankees beat Houston 6-4 today in spring training action. The Yanks are now 18-6 on the spring.

Luis Severino didn’t pitch too well, though, and may have set himself back in the rotation battle.

I think Mitchell has pitched best. As for the other spot, who knows, maybe Jordan Montgomery comes out of nowhere to steal it. Warren has pitched well, but I really wonder if the Yankees would rather have him in the bullpen. Then again, he has done nothing wrong in trying for the rotation spot. He’s been OK.  Of Green, Cessa and Severino, I think Green has pitched best.

Of course, you never know if there could be a last minute trade for someone.

The Yanks scored two in the first on a 2-run double by Headley.

After Houston got a run in the second, Headley and Torreyes executed a double steal in the sixth to put the Yanks up 3-1.

But Severino gave up three runs, two in the sixth and another in the eighth and the Yankees entered the ninth inning losing 4-3.

A wild pitch enabled two runners to score, and an error on a SB attempt enabled the third run to score.

Gleyber Torres had another hit.

Clint Frazier had two hits but made an error.

The Yanks stole four bases (Headley, Torreyes, Frazier and Solano. Solano’s steal with Refsnyder on third forced the bad throw which let Refsnyder score).

Ex-Yankee Brian McCann went 3 for 3 for Houston.

Warren 3 2/3 IP, 1 R, 4 H, 1 walk, 1 K.
Heller (H) 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 0 K.
Severino (BS) 3 1/3 IP, 3 R, 6 H, 2 walks, 2 K.
Gallegos (w) 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 walk, 0 K.
Gurka (S) 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 walk, 2 K.

S.T. Game 23. Rough welcome. New Yanks’ pitcher loses game in 9th, 5-4.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks just signed Ernesto Frieri the other day and Baltimore gave him a rough welcome, hitting a HR off of him in the top of the 9th as the Yanks lost 5-4.

The Yanks struck first, as Jacoby Ellsbury singled in a run in the third and Gary Sanchez later doubled in two more that same inning.

After three scoreless innings, CC Sabathia lost it a bit in the fourth, giving up three runs, all with two out.

Baltimore got a run in the 7th when Tommy Layne gave up a HR, but the Yanks tied it in the 8th on a HR by Billy McKinney.

Then Frieri gave up the HR in the 9th to cost the Yanks the game. The Yanks fall to 17-6 for spring training (I count the win over the Canadian WBC team, MLB doesn’t).

Sabathia 4 IP, 3 R, 3 H, 1 walk, 5 K. Gave up HR. Good first three innings, (0 R, 0 H, 2 K) but with two out in fourth, lost it a bit.

Chapman 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 1 K.
Graham 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 1 K.
Layne 1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 walks, 2 K. Gave up HR
Niese 1 Ip, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks, 0 K.
Frieri (L) 1 Ip, 1 R, 1 H, o walks, 3 K. Struck out side but gave up GW HR.

S.T. Game 22. Yanks no-hit Tigers, 3-0.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Masahiro Tanaka continued his impressive spring training, and prospect Jordan Montgomery continued to impress as they, along with Chasen Shreve, combined to no-hit the Tigers today, 3-0.

The win improves the Yanks spring training record to 17-5 (I count the win over the Canadian WBC team, MLB doesn’t). Too bad these games don’t count.

The Yanks got all of their runs in the fourth. Matt Holliday doubled and scored on a double by Chase Headley, who himself scored on a double by Rob Refsnyder. Refsnyder scored on a single by Ronald Torreyes.

Before the game, Jorge Mateo was sent back to the minors, and not to AA Trenton, but to High-A Tampa.

Tanaka (w) 4 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 2 walks, 6 K.
Shreve (H) 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 1 K.
Montgomery (S) 4 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 2 K.

Montgomery is a big lefty, 6’6″, 225, and 24 years old. His minor league career has been:

2014 Rookie/short season A (Staten Island) combined: 7 starts, 3 relief, 1-1, 3.79. 20 K in 19 IP.

2015 Low and High A combined. 10-8, 2.95. 24 starts, 1 relief. 132 K in 134 1/3 IP.

2016 AA and AAA combined. 14-5, 2.13. 25 starts. 139 1/3 IP, 134 K.

So far he has impressed manager Joe Girardi in camp.

Tanaka hasn’t given up a run in some 13 1/3 spring training innings.